FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2013
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
New app brings audio and braille books to the blind and visually impaired
The New Hampshire State Library, through its Talking Books division, is pleased to announce that individuals who are blind or visually impaired, or who have a physical disability that does not allow them to handle printed reading material, may now download audio and braille books to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch through a new, free mobile application, the Braille and Audio Reading Download, known as BARD.
BARD allows readers to download audio and braille books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped’s collection. Almost 50,000 books, magazines and music scores in audio and braille formats are currently available through BARD, with new selections added daily.
In addition to making audio books available on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, BARD allows New Hampshire Talking Book patrons to access printed material by using Bluetooth technology to connect a refreshable braille display to those portable devices. Previously, they relied on heavy Braille-printed books or bulky playback equipment for their reading material.
“Downloadable digital audio and e-books are very popular at New Hampshire’s libraries, and now our Talking Books patrons can also use today’s technology to enjoy a wide variety of reading materials,” said State Librarian Michael York. “We’re very pleased that this service is available for them.”
To use BARD, New Hampshire patrons must be registered with the state’s Talking Book Services and will need to download the BARD app from the Apple App store; they then access materials from the National Library Service’s BARD site https://nlsbard.loc.gov/login//NLS.
The National Library Service is also working on an app for Android devices.
To learn more about the BARD mobile app and other services provided by the New Hampshire Talking Book Services, please contact the State Library’s Talking Books division at (603) 271-3429 or toll-free at (800) 491-4200 or visit www.nh.gov/nhsl/talking_books.
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